Friday, January 22


Today I feel, as the Brits say, like the last day of a wet week what with the continuing horror of Haiti, the election of a rightwinger to Teddy Kennedy’s seat, and the outrageous, disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision yesterday, and now to put a cap on it, Bill Press has disappointed me.

This morning I heard him talking about the health care reform issue. He and I agree that it would be a disaster for Democrats to just walk away and get nothing done. Then he said, “Howard Dean said yesterday on this show that the House should just pass the Senate bill.” I nearly dropped my coffee mug.

What?? That’s not what he said. He said the opposite, as a matter of fact. And I know that because I took notes, summarized it and blogged it. Then I tweeted that I had posted a summary of his excellent remarks. I KNOW what I heard.

So I phoned the Bill Press Show. The call screener asked what I wanted to say.

“Did Bill Press just say Howard Dean said the House should pass the Senate bill?” Yes. No, he didn’t! He said the opposite. That it was “insane” to pass a bill with insurance reform mixed in with insurance company giveaways. I heard him say something to someone else in the room. He came back to continue to disagree with me.

“I heard it! In fact, I took notes and blogged a summary!” I protested, my voice probably rising.

And so I went on with more of the details of Howard Dean’s remarks which were fresh in my mind having written them up (thank you, blog!) My details should have been convincing.
But they weren’t. The screener told me that I hadn’t heard what I heard, noted, summarized and blogged. And so Bill Press and his listeners didn’t get to hear someone correcting him on the air.

I know I am right. Maybe if I hadn’t blogged it I could say maybe I’m remembering wrong. But I am not. THEY have a podcast. THEY have a recording.

So here is my challenge to Bill Press, who I have long thought is a smart straight-shooter with intellectual honesty: Listen to the Howard Dean interview from yesterday over the weekend.

That will settle it because I know what I heard him say.

I don’t know why Bill has chosen to remember Dean’s words in a way that is opposite to what Dean said. I also know from regular listening that Bill, like me, thinks the Senate bill is horrible. But I’ve also heard him go to the position of “it’s better than nothing.” So is Bill Press’s memory conforming to his own position? Is that why he misrepresented Dr. Dean?

Inquiring listeners want to know.

Here’s what I am going to do with my annoyance (outrage is too strong) at this: I’m going to write to Bill and Dr. Dean and post this on my blog. And then I will spread the word on Twitter and Facebook. God bless the internet and keep it free!

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